Team B.C. Skip Kelly Scott at the 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The Canadian Womans Curling Championship will have a new format when Penticton hosts in 2018. Photo courtesy of Andrew Klaver

Friday night curling showdown for Scotties

New format to be tested in Penticton at 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

A Friday night showdown will determine the 16th and final entries into the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts held in Penticton.

On the Friday night prior to the opening of round-robin play at the Scotties and the Tim Hortons Brier events, the top two teams from the Canadian Team Ranking System that didn’t qualify out of their provincial/territorial championships will get a second chance at qualifying for the Canadian championship.

Related: Penticton to host 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts curling championship

It’ll be a Wild Card Friday that will get the championship week at both events off to an exciting start, said Curling Canada chief executive officer Katherine Henderson.

“We did extensive consultation with our member associations, the athletes and our partners at TSN, Tim Hortons and Kruger and everyone agreed that this was an ideal and positive solution to the issue of determining the 16th entry into the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and Tim Hortons Brier,” said Henderson.

“The new 16-team format ensures every member association is participating from the beginning of the week, and also ensures that a quality field is in place in order to determine a Canadian team to wear the Maple Leaf and play for a world championship.”

The pre-qualifying format, introduced in 2014, was voted out by Curling Canada’s Member Associations at the 2015 annual general meeting, and a 16-team, two-pool format was approved by the same member associations a year later.

It was determined then that the 14 member associations and Team Canada would be part of the field, with discussions to follow to determine the 16th team.

It was a suggestion from Manitoba’s Mike McEwen — who along with E.J. Harnden, Nolan Thiessen, Lisa Weagle, Tracy Fleury and Val Sweeting is a member of the Curling Canada Athletes’ Advisory Council — that spearheaded the idea of a play-in game.

“I don’t think many curlers would say no to a second chance at qualifying for the Brier or the Scotties, and the thing I really like is that a team has to win a game in order to qualify,” said McEwen. “It’s going to be a treat for the fans and the national television audience, and I think it will be a great showcase for curling.”

For example, this past season, the Friday night Wild Card game would have been a showdown between Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones and Alli Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., for the final berth into the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

To qualify for the Wild Card game, teams must have participated in their respective provincial/territorial championships.

The teams will be split into two pools of eight, with the top four teams from each pool then advancing to a championship pool that will determine the final four playoff teams.

Once all of the member associations have declared their champions, they, along with the defending champion Team Canada foursome, will be seeded based on their current position on the Canadian team ranking system. The winner of the Wild Card game will automatically have a No. 4 seed.

The seedings will then be used to set two balanced pools.

How the team will be named for the round robin, as well as team colours, will be determined at a later date. Penticton will host the Scotties Jan. 27 to Feb. 4, 2018.

Just Posted

Trail vet says voting system has worked for 150 years

Letter to the Editor from Vaughn Budd of Trail

Kootenay employers ready to meet job seekers at Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies will attend the event on Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Sandblasting Silver City skate sign

The Trail Sk8 Park was closed on Thursday so workers could ready a sign for painting

Area A seeks views on cannabis rules

The public hearing for Area A residents will go Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m.

Trail liquor store held up Friday night

The perpetrator was brandishing a weapon that appeared to be a gun, according to the Trail RCMP

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most Read